No respite from flood fury as toll reaches 168

Clay Curtis
July 21, 2019

The combined death toll in devastating floods in India's northeastern state of Assam and eastern state of Bihar has gone up to 119, official sources told Xinhua on Friday.

He further said that till now NDRF personnel have evacuated more than 4,500 people from far-flung villages of flood-affected Araria, Katihar, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Supaul, Muzaffarpur and Motihari districts.

Officials estimate more than 95 percent Kaziranga National park was underwater Friday as a result of the monsoon rains.

The Indian Army had earlier launched a large scale flood relief operation in flood-hit areas of lower Assam after the torrential rains hit the region.

In India, several million people are living in makeshift camps and settlements.

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The toll in the floods in Assam and Bihar touched 156 on Saturday, according to the state governments' daily bulletins. Authorities have opened 1,080 relief camps which are now house more than 200,000 people, according to Assam Disaster Management Authority. The deluge has affected 69.3 lakh people in the 12 districts, with over 1.15 lakh sheltered in 131 relief camps.

Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi on Saturday made an aerial survey of the flood hit areas in Golapara, South Salmara, Dhubri, Barpeta, Kamrup and asked the administrations to take up relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction work on a war footing.

"We have enough supply of dry food and drinking water but we can not reach many areas due to high water levels", said the official in the district of Gaibandha, one of 21 hit by floods. "The Centre should announce the situations as national disaster and give the state Rs 10,000 crore".

The Chief Minister Relief Fund continued to receive contribution including from the state's directorate of information and public relations whose officials at the headquarters in Guwahati contributed a day's salary, according to a statement from Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal's office.

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